Bachelor of Science Degree


In addition to the course requirements imposed at the University and College levels, the Bachelor of Science (BS) Zoology requires the completion of at least 33 credits of upper-level (300 +) coursework offered by the Department of Zoology.  This requirement is met by completing ONE of the concentrations below.  Zoology courses cover a wide range of material: these concentrations provide a way to organize the required Zoology courses around a particular thread as well as to tailor coursework to an individual student's interests.  As a result, students will graduate with slightly different academic backgrounds, which may be the advantage one needs in today's competitive job market.


These requirement lists are for informational purposes. Students are expected to check with their advisor at least once a year to verify requirements and to discuss program planning and course selection.

How to change your major or concentration.

Information for persons with disabilities.

Pre- professional student information



B.S. Zoology  with a Concentration in:





Concentration Requirements BEFORE FS 07:

A student who was first enrolled at MSU BEFORE FS 07 may choose to complete the "older" set of concentration requirements.  Neither the method (whether the student entered MSU as a freshman or a transfer student) nor the student's previous major matter here.  The sole determining factor is whether the first semester enrolled at MSU was before FS 07 or FS 07 and later.  Requirments for two concentrations (Ecology, Evolution & Organismal Biology and Zoo & Aquarium Science) did NOT change.








Degree Requirements

Within the minimum of 120 credits (123 crs. if the student took MTH 1825 at MSU) necessary for a MSU Bachelor's degree, Zoology majors must complete these sets of requirements:

General Degree requirements
University requirements
College of Natural Science requirements
Zoology Dept. requirements: complete one of these seven concentrations.

General elective courses:  Beyond these requirements, general elective courses provide the additional credits to reach 120 (123) credits.


GENERAL DEGREE Requirements:

* GPA is Grade Point AVERAGE



UNIVERSITY Requirements:

 COMPLETE ALL of the following courses:
CourseCourse TitleSemester OfferedCredits
WRA 110-150 Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures F, S, U 4
IAH 201-210 Integrative Studies in the Arts & Humanities F, S, U 4
IAH 211 (or higher) Integrative Studies in the Arts & Humanities F, S, U 4
ISS 2XX Integrative Studies in Social Science F, S, U 4
ISS 3XX Integrative Studies in Social Science F, S, U 4
(F = Fall, S = Spring, U = sUmmer, KB = Kellogg Biological Station)


NOTE about the IAH and ISS Diversity requirement: As you can see, there are four required ISS or IAH courses:


The Integrated Studies Diversity requirement is fulfilled when at least two of these courses demonstrate diversity.  All MSU IAH and ISS courses carry a diversity designation.  The diversity designation of I, N or D is in parentheses at the end of the course title in the MSU Course Descriptions catalog.

"I" - emphasizes international and multicultural diversity *.
"N" - emphasizes national diversity *.
"D" - emphasizes both international/multicultural and national diversity *.

(Example: IAH 201 is a "D" emphasis course.)

The Diversity requirement is satisfied when , in your four required courses, you have two different designations.  This means with the completion of at least one “N” course and one “I” course.    A “D” course may substitute for either one “N” or one “I” requirement, but not both.

[Or, to put it differently:
a. by taking  one course designated "I" and one course designated "N" OR
b. by taking one course designated "D" and one course designated either "I" or "N".]


*     If none of these letters is present, the course will not factor into the Integrated Studies Diversity requirement.


NOTE about ISP / ISP:
MSU requires all undergraduate students to complete ISB, ISP and the applicable labs.

College of Natural Science students (including Zoology majors) must take a substantial amount of preliminary science courses. Some of these courses will be used for "an alternative track" *  in [in other words, as substitutes for] the ISB / ISP and labs. For example, for Zoology students, the courses BS 161 & 171 and CEM 141 & 161 will be replacing the ISB / ISP / labs.

Degree Navigator, since it is a program which applies to all the majors across the University, lists ISB, ISP and the applicable labs as requirements, even for College of Natural Science students. For Zoology majors, however, once the courses BS 161 & 171 and CEM 141 & 161 have been completed, Degree Navigator will plug these into the College of Natural Science "alternative track." The ISB / ISP category then will be shown as completed for that student.

* See Academic Programs.  Look under
> College of Natural Science > Undergraduate Programs > Graduation Requirements, number 1



 COMPLETE ALL of the following courses:
CourseCourse TitleSemester OfferedCredits
BS 161 Cell & Molecular Biology F, S, U 3
BS 162 Organismal & Population Biology F, S, U 3
BS 171 Cell & Molecular Biology Lab F, S, U 2
BS 172 Organismal & Population Biology Lab F, S, U 2
CEM 141 General Chemistry F, S, U 4
CEM 161 Chemistry Laboratory I F, S, U 1
CEM 251* Organic Chemistry I F, S, U 3
CEM 252* Organic Chemistry II F, S, U 3
CEM 255 Organic Chemistry Lab F, S, U 2
PHY 231 Introductory Physics I F, S, U 3
PHY 232 Introductory Physics II F, S, U 3
PHY 251 Introductory Physics Lab I F, S, U 1
PHY 252 Introductory Physics Lab II F, S, U 1
* CEM 252 builds on knowledge from 251. The Department recommends taking the organic chemistry classes consecutive semesters [e.g. FS - SS] so there is less of a break between courses.

Note for pre-professional students:  additional coursework in CEM may required or recommended for admission to professional school (medical, veterninary, dental, osteopathic, etc.).   More information.


Level 1 (calculus).  Complete one of the following courses:
CourseCourse TitleSemester OfferedCredits
MTH 124 Survey of Calculus I F, S, U 3
MTH 132 Calculus I F, S, U 3
Level 2 (calculus or STT).  Complete one of the following courses:
CourseCourse TitleSemester OfferedCredits
MTH 126 Survey of Calculus II F, S, U 3
MTH 133 Calculus II F, S, U 4
STT 201 Statistical Methods F, S, U 4
STT 224 Intro. to Probability & Statistics for Ecologists S 3
STT 231 Statistics for Scientists F, S, U 3
STT 421 Statistics I F, S, U 3

(F = Fall, S = Spring, U = sUmmer, KB = Kellogg Biological Station)

Prerequisite MTH courses: When you enter MSU, you must take a MTH placement test. Your score on this test may not be high enough to place you into one of the groups of calculus classes listed above. In this case, you must enroll in pre-calculus classes.

If you place into MTH 1825, Intermediate Algebra, you must start you MTH sequence with this course. Once you pass this course, you may move on to the next pre-calculus classes, MTH 116 OR (MTH 103 and 114).

A placement score of 9 - 14 means your MTH sequence starts at the pre-calculus level: College Algebra and Trigonometry.  This material is covered in either:


How do you decide which pre-calculus route to follow?

1.   Which first-level calculus course (first course grouping above) do you intend to take later?  Look at the descriptions (click on the links)

See above: either course will meet the requirement.

2.   Do you like math?  Are you good at it?  If yes, consider MTH 132, Calculus I.  Note that the prerequisites are BOTH College Algebra and Trigonometry.  To complete your pre-calculus requirement, choose one of these options:


3.  For those who might not like math so much (or who feel they are not good at it), consider MTH 124,  Survey of Calculus I.

NOTE:  the only prerequisite listed in the MSU Description of Courses for MTH 124 is MTH 103.

4.   Still not sure which direction to go? Leave your options open.  Plan to take BOTH College Algebra and Trigonometry (see 2 above).   You can change your plans later.


5.  Are you a preprofessional student (intending to go to professional school: veterinary, medical, osteopathic, dental, etc.) Check with each school you wish to attend to see if Trigonometry us required.  Find out which calculus class is required (see 1 above).  Does the MCAT or GRE recommend Trigonometry or a specific calculus class?  More information.




To receive a BS Zoology, a student must complete a minimum of 33 credits in upper-level (300 +) Zoology courses.  This requirement is met by completing one of the seven concentrations that the Department offers.  Selection of a concentration should be made in accordance with that individual student's interests.

When you graduate, your concentration will be listed on your transcript.  Your diploma will NOT list the concentration: your diploma will read "Bachelor of Science in Zoology."




Most of the 120 (or 123) credits required for a MSU Bachelor’s degree come from the required University, College and department courses. Additional credits, however, may be needed to reach the total 120 (123) credits. These credits are called general elective credits and may be taken in any discipline or any level. Elective courses can be chosen to: